Reagan Library

Description (in English): 

Reagan Library is an odd mixture of stories and images, voices and places, crimes and punishments, connections and disruptions, signals on, noises off, failures of memory, and acts of reconstruction. It goes into some places not customary for "writing." I think of it as a space probe. I have no idea what you'll think.

(Source: Author's description from Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1)


 The piece seems to become more and more confusing as the writing continues. Demonstrates certain aspects of the writings becoming more incoherent, showing older graphic pictures of areas that seem lost, and bizarre, regarding the context of Reagan Library. The texts describe certain scenarios as well such as the Doctor asking what appears to be a patient to perform tasks involving one of the graphics, the piece goes on from the doctor's narration of the person's ability to perform the given tasks involving the image.


Some of the innovations of Reagan Library are immediately apparent in the combination of navigable Myst-like landscapes with linked texts. Others can only be read through repeated encounters with the four fictional systems of text that correspond to four "worlds." Mingling instructions, stories, and "nonsense" texts (which can be eliminated by re-visiting and re-reading), Reagan Library is a meditation on forgetting and loss in which text and image work together interactively in an intricate and compelling way.

(Source: Editorial description, Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1) 

I ♥ E-Poetry entry: 
Pull Quotes: 

What if I were to ask you in intimate detail about the way your eyeballs move, or what muscles you use when you swallow, or how the air goes in and out of your lungs?

This is your brain off drugs. Are you with me, doctor?

Churning and churning in the thickening mire. Please disregard. Will this ever make sense?

Are we reading yet?

What don't you understand? Stolidity silently contemplates the ramifying hours. Had this been a virtual emergency you would have been.

Technical notes: 

Each page contains an image and some text. The image is a QuickTimeVR panorama. Dragging the mouse within the QuickTime window moves the virtual camera. Certain images within the panoramas are cues for hypertext links. The cursor takes on the image of a globe when it encounters one of these. Generally, clicking on an object moves your viewpoint close to that object by replacing the current panorama. Occasionally you'll click on an object and find yourself in a different space, marked most notably by a change of color and lighting. There are four spaces in this version of the Library. The texts that accompany the images are also multiform. Pay attention to the small squares or color bars that mark the end of each passage. They're not entirely decorative. If you visit a page more than once, you'll notice the text has changed. The text should become more coherent (if not more sensible) on repeated visits. Simply re-loading a page does not constitute a new visit. You must leave and land elsewhere before you can return. Most pages contain several text links in addition to the graphical links in the QuickTime movie. Lines entirely in italics represent important messages from the Library. More information is available in the introduction and in Reagan Library's "red zone."

(Source: Instructions from Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1)


The work was adapted from Quicktime VR in 2009 and re-released in Flash.


Screen shots: 


The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Eric Dean Rasmussen